Opera Without the Opera

We’ve heard the “opera with a twist” and “rock opera” distinctions before from various classical-music organizations. However, each time we’ve checked out these so-called hip concerts, the music’s turned out to be too, well, operatic for our tastes.

In the case of the Phoenix Symphony-presented Ainadamar: Fountain of Tears, the production is truly of the kickass variety. Yes, it’s an opera, but the Grammy Award-winning work also includes nontraditional classical elements such as pre-recorded samples, laptop effects, sexy flamenco guitar plucking, and the way-accomplished soprano Dawn Upshaw. The show – which features music composed by Argentinean Osvaldo Golijov and a libretto by American David Henry Hwang – chronicles the romance between the ostracized Spanish poet/playwright Federico Garcia Lorca (played by a female -- in this case, Kelley O’Connor) and Lorca’s main squeeze, Margarita Xirgu (Upshaw).

Fri., May 23, 8 p.m.; Sat., May 24, 8 p.m., 2008


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